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Ag Literacy Lines

A blog featuring fun information on agriculture for youth and adults.

Back from Break!

Posted by Danielle Gerndt -

Welcome back from winter break! I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday!  There are many things going on in the next couple of months that I would like to talk about today!

First, I want to update everyone on my maternity leave.  I will be out all of February, as well as most of March.  In my absence, my intern, Danielle Brown, will be holding down the AITC office! She already has some presentations booked, and still has openings if you are interested in having Ag in the Classroom come into your school.  While I will be checking e-mail periodically, should you have any questions or concerns, you can contact her either via e-mail at or by phone at the Champaign office (217) 333-7672 or Onarga office (815) 268-4051.  She has already done some lessons with me, and is doing an excellent job!

That leads to our next topic, which is our presentations for February and March.  During these months, we will be discussing horses! This is a new lesson, which will teach the kids the difference between breeds and types of horses, as well as include a fun activity for them to participate in! Again, if you would like to schedule a horse presentation, please contact Danielle Brown to check availability!

We also have our coloring contest quickly approaching!! We are firing this back up after a short break, and are looking forward to seeing many submissions!  This year, the contest will be broken down into three categories: PreK-3, Grades 4-8, and Grades 9-12.  The youngest entries will be able to color a pre-designed coloring page about agriculture and submit it.  Each entry will receive a small prize.  The 4-8 graders will be able to make their own poster on a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper centered around the topic of "365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed," which is the National Agriculture Week theme.  Students in grades 9-12 will be able to enter an original photo taken by them, also involving somehow the National Ag Week theme.  Entries in the older two groups will be judged at F-I Ag Day, February 21st at the Christ Lutheran School in Buckley.  One winner from each of the two categories will be chosen, as well as two honorable mentions from each category.  These winners will receive cash prizes!! Hard copies and e-mails will be sent out detailing the rules and guidelines for each group. I encourage you to have your students participate!

I would also like to congratulate Kim Eggemeyer and Chris Denton from Iroquois West and Jody Musterman from Crescent City on receiving book grants from Illinois Ag in the Classroom! These grants are available at the beginning of every school year for teachers throughout the state to promote ag literacy in more classrooms!  Congratulations on your successful grants!!

Finally, I would like to talk about the Illinois Farm Bureau Commodity Challenge! This is a great opportunity for high school ag, math, or economics students who would like to take on a new challenge!  This challenge involves fictitious marketing of 100,000 bushels of corn and 30,000 bushels of beans.  Classes must register before March 15th, and grain was available to be marketed beginning January 2nd, 2014 through November 28th, 2014.  Cash prizes are awarded to the top three groups in each of the 4 divisions starting at $1000 for first place, $500 for 2nd, and $250 for third.  If you would like more information regarding the challenge and how to enter, please go to and click the "Join" button to create your account!  Once your account is set, click "Find a Game," and choose which you would like to participate in.  The password for each game is Membership.  I think this would be a really great way for students to get a real feel for an agriculture related job!

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